Wednesday, March 6, 2002
MT. HOOD MEADOWS — The Summit Snowboard Team was feeling a little selfish at last weekend’s OISA State Snowboard Championships.
But it was for a good cause.
Not only did the Summit boys and girls teams win the Slopestyle and Boardercross team competitions, but they walked off with all the individual hardware as well.
“We’ve been the best team for the past four years,” assistant coach Steve Grace said, “but I don’t remember us dominating this much before.”
By refusing to allow any other teams or individuals to stand atop the medal platform, both Summit teams skated off with their fourth consecutive combined state titles.
The Boardercross and Slope-style championships — preceded by a Feb. 23 win in the state half-pipe competition — gave Summit all six team titles and four of the six individual titles.
“It was kind of embarrassing to win every trophy,” said sophomore Lisa Page, who won Slopestyle and finished second to teammate Elie Meierbachtol in Boardercross. “But we were just feeling it. We owned the course and we were all pretty stoked.”
Junior Ben Connors also appeared to be in a zone at state, winning the Boardercross and Slopestyle individual titles.
“I felt really good in both races,” he said. “I even held back a little in Slopestyle because I didn’t want to go inverted like last year. What I needed to win were clean runs, and it just worked out that way.”
While Connors was carving up the course for the solo titles, his teammates did their part to ensure the team won as well. Todd Anderson, Colin Franger and Paul Rovianek took third, fourth and sixth places, respectively, in Boardercross, while Anderson and Jordan Schmidt tied for sixth in Slopestyle.
“These guys have improved so much this season,” Connors said. “By them stepping it up all year, it has made me work even harder.”
Page said the same about her girls teammates and remarked that the team’s relaxed attitude made for a spectacular weekend on the hill.
That peace of mind was evidenced by Page’s composure during the semifinals and finals of Boardercross — an event that took on a new feel this year with a head-to-head format. Six competitors, one clock. Every shredder for him or herself.
Page found herself behind late in both races, but somehow managed to dart past a few unsuspecting racers around the final turn. Her poise and hill instinct led to a third-place finish in her semifinal heat and a second place in the finals.
“It was a pretty big surprise for me since it was my first individual state Boardercross race,” said Page, who prefers Slopestyle.
“I was just trying to finish in the top six because I figured if I could finish sixth, I could still say I was in the top six in state. But when I came in second, it just blew my mind!” she said.
As a team, the girls were equally ferocious, running away with the title by nearly six seconds over Lincoln and Lake Oswego. Jenny Page, Meghan Ferns and Melissa Holmes all did their part to guarantee the team victory.
“It’s great to finish the year with another championship,” the elder Page said. “We were pretty confident that if we had clean runs, we would win.”
The girls did equal damage in the Slopestyle competition, burying second-place Lincoln by more than seven points.
The boys had a much closer finish in Slopestyle — beating out Barlow by just four-tenths of a point — but Connors said the course helped the team excel.
“Slopestyle was way better on ‘Voyager’ because of all the jumps,” he said. “We’re an air-oriented team and the course really helped us do our thing.”
Summit will begin its drive for five next season. And with Connors, Meierbachtol and Lisa Page all returning, the teams are already flying high.